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Each quarter we do our best to provide you with an update on any Smilers related information, news snippets and anything else we think you might be interested in!  Full details of all new issues will appear under the New Issues menu option.

Earlier News Reports (e.g. Q1-18) are provided in Adobe Acrobat pdf file format and are generally available during the first couple of weeks following the preceding quarter. Click on this link News Archive to go to the Smilers News Archive page.


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Q3 2018 

  • 250th Anniversary of Captain Cook's Voyage aboard HMS Endeavour

    This year is the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook's voyage of discovery aboard HMS Endeavour and Royal Mail will be marking this event with a set of new stamps and mini sheet due out on 16th August 2018.  At Ridgewood, we have decided to mark this event with a limited edition Themed Smilers sheet and Smilers souvenir First Day Cover and are pleased to announce the following new Themed Sheet design and First Day Cover postmarked Plymouth and dated 16th August 2018.

    TS-562

    TS-562-FDC

    Both are available to purchase on-line by clicking either of the above images, or you can pre-order by sending me an e-mail with your requirements. Due to existing holiday arrangements (which my wife tells me I cannot change) I will not be able to dispatch them until first week in September so you can delay payment if you wish until last week in August. Our prices for these collectibles are £37.50 per full sheet of 20 stamps/labels, £20 per half sheet and £5.95 per cover which comes with an illustrated insert card containing further details of Captain Cook's voyage on HMS Endeavour. All prices include p+p.  (26/07)

  • Jersey Holidays for Heroes Commemorative Sheet Announced 

    Whilst the news for customised stamp sheet collectors is less than heartening on the mainland with the cessation of the Business Customised and Personalised Stamp Sheet services, news from the islands is more optimistic!  Jersey Post have just announced a new commemorative sheet to celebrate the 10th anniversary of local charity, Holidays for Heroes Jersey. 

    "This fantastic charity provides free holidays in Jersey for members of HM Armed Forces injured during their service. Made up of twenty UK Letter stamps affixed to stamp labels, the sheet features photographs showing some of the charity’s fundraising activities as well as families enjoying their Jersey holidays."

    We will be stocking this sheet, priced £25.00, so if interested please e-mail me in the first instance. (17/07)

  • The Last Business Customised Smilers at STAMPEX?

    The Philatelic Traders Society (PTS) look like being the source of the last Business Customised Stamp Sheet from the Royal Mail following the latter's announcement earlier this year that the service would close at the end of March 2018.

    The PTS have recently announced a stunning new Smilers sheet which will be on sale at the 2018 Autumn STAMPEX event and which could prove popular as a nostalgic memento of STAMPEX Smilers sheets past and present.

    The preliminary catalogue reference for this sheet is BC-514 which will sadly close a chapter on this aspect of the Smilers story. Over 500 different designs have emerged since their launch in 2002 with just a handful giving rise to perforation and printing varieties for the faithful to chase down. Some are so rare that only a very few seem to have survived and found their way to the collector market (Portsmouth FC).  The story continues in the shape of Royal Mail's so-called commemorative sheets which by any measure are nothing more than home-grown business customised sheets - a case of game-keeper turned poacher perhaps! (16/07) 

  • Personalised Smilers Service to the Public to Close

    Whilst on holiday recently I received an e-mail from Royal Mail containing the following announcement:

    "The personalised Smilers® service is going to be put on hold for an indefinite period from this summer as we launch a new online shop. Consumers will not be able to order personalised Smilers® sheets when the new web platform goes live until further notice.

    We are introducing a web platform this summer which will significantly improve customers’ user experience and in preparing the migration to the new website we have reviewed the range of online products and services that we offer. Following this review we have taken the decision not to migrate the Personalised Smilers® service to the new shop when it goes live at the end of July.

    The last date for consumer orders for Smilers will be 5pm on Thursday 26th July 2018.

    Whilst we will not offer the Smilers® service online or to the public we are retaining the print capability for personalised stamp sheets for Corporate purposes, Key Accounts and other business requirements so we will be able to continue to process any orders you may have."

    Whilst I am not entirely surprised at this development I was surprised to learn that they would continue to be available to Key Account customers, i.e. the philatelic trade.  I think we can consider this an interim arrangement which goes someway to make up for the loss of the Business Customised stamp sheets service but depending upon interest from the philatelic trade I can't see this continuing for very long.  

    Apparently, the cost of migrating the Smilers service from one web platform to the other outweighed the commercial benefit to Royal Mail. Business speak for "they are not that popular any more and it's not worth us spending money on something that does not make a big profit."  That's privatised business for you!  (13/07)

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                                    Last updated: July 27, 2018